|For Immediate Release
December 3, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTY CONVICTED OF FILING EIGHT FALSE POLICE REPORTS IN DNA PROPERTY CRIMES PROJECT
SANTA ANA – An Orange County Sheriff’s deputy was convicted yesterday of filing false police reports with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD). Jason Christopher Brant, 34, Chino, was found guilty by a jury of eight misdemeanor counts of filing a false report as a peace officer. He faces a maximum sentence of eight years in jail at his sentencing on Jan. 16, 2009, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-66. Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
In 2005 the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and OCSD received a grant from the National Institute of Justice. The grant funded a South Orange County project to determine the effectiveness in using DNA to solve property crimes.
Brant, a sworn deputy, was a 10-year veteran with the OCSD and was selected by the Department to work on this project. He was assigned to follow up on 39 of the 500 property crimes cases that were selected for DNA testing. Brant’s job included contacting the victims of 39 cases that occurred between 2005 and 2007, conducting 39 follow-up investigations, collecting contact information from the victims in the event that a DNA match led to an identification of a defendant in their case, and determining the victim’s willingness to cooperate in the case.
In 2007, Brant submitted 39 reports to his supervisor at OCSD. Of those 39 cases, Brant filed more than eight false police reports stating that he had contacted each victim by telephone and they had declined to cooperate in the investigation. One of the victims he claimed to have interviewed was deceased.
During the trial, several victims testified that they were never contacted by Brant. Other victims testified that while they did get a call from the defendant, at no point did they tell him that they would not cooperate with the investigation. One victim said that he never spoke to Brant, and that his case had already been solved and prosecuted at the time Brant claimed to have called. Brant’s report for that victim showed that the case was open, unsolved, and the victim declined to cooperate.
Deputy District Attorney Tammy Spurgeon of the DNA Unit is prosecuting this case.